Shape and motion interactions at perceptual and attentional levels during processing of structure from motion stimuli

J Vis. 2008 Dec 29;8(16):17.1-14. doi: 10.1167/8.16.17.


This study uses a rapid-serial-visual-presentation (RSVP) paradigm to test the extent to which shape and motion direction can be independently accessed and processed during the perception of structure-from-motion (SFM) stimuli. Subjects reported the number of occurrences of shape or motion direction during RSVP sequences of 3D-SFM stimuli. Overall, performance was better for motion than shape. In the motion task, observers were less accurate when the motion direction was repeated revealing a repetition blindness (RB) effect. In addition, the repetition of shape, although irrelevant to the motion task, resulted in increased performance, without change in RB rate. In contrast, there was no RB at the group level in the shape task and the repetition of the irrelevant motion direction had no effect on the performance. A closer look at the data showed that observers fall in two statistically distinct groups for the shape task. Some observers (N = 6) show a repetition advantage (RA) while the others (N = 5) show a repetition blindness (RB) effect. No behavioral differences between groups could be found for the motion task. The implications of these results for models of SFM processing are discussed in the light of the type/token theory (N. Kanwisher, 2001).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology*
  • Depth Perception / physiology*
  • Form Perception / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods